Comparison of 4D flow and 2D velocity-encoded phase contrast MRI sequences for the evaluation of aortic hemodynamics

  • Emilie Bollache
  • Pim van Ooij
  • Alex Powell
  • James Carr
  • Michael Markl
  • Alex J. Barker
Original Paper


The purpose of this study was to compare aortic flow and velocity quantification using 4D flow MRI and 2D CINE phase-contrast (PC)-MRI with either one-directional (2D-1dir) or three-directional (2D-3dir) velocity encoding. 15 healthy volunteers (51 ± 19 years) underwent MRI including (1) breath-holding 2D-1dir and (2) free breathing 2D-3dir PC-MRI in planes orthogonal to the ascending (AA) and descending (DA) aorta, as well as (3) free breathing 4D flow MRI with full thoracic aorta coverage. Flow quantification included the co-registration of the 2D PC acquisition planes with 4D flow MRI data, AA and DA segmentation, and calculation of AA and DA peak systolic velocity, peak flow and net flow volume for all sequences. Additionally, the 2D-3dir velocity taking into account the through-plane component only was used to obtain results analogous to a free breathing 2D-1dir acquisition. Good agreement was found between 4D flow and 2D-3dir peak velocity (differences = −3 to 6 %), peak flow (−7 %) and net volume (−14 to −9 %). In contrast, breath-holding 2D-1dir measurements exhibited indices significantly lower than free breathing 2D-3dir and 2D-1dir (differences = −35 to −7 %, p < 0.05). Finally, high correlations (r ≥ 0.97) were obtained for indices estimated with or without eddy current correction, with the lowest correlation observed for net volume. 4D flow and 2D-3dir aortic hemodynamic indices were in concordance. However, differences between respiration state and 2D-1dir and 2D-3dir measurements indicate that reference values should be established according to the PC-MRI sequence, especially for the widely used net flow (e.g. stroke volume in the AA).


MRI Phase-contrast Aortic hemodynamics 4D flow MRI 



This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health Grants R01HL115828 and K25HL119608.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emilie Bollache
    • 1
  • Pim van Ooij
    • 1
  • Alex Powell
    • 1
  • James Carr
    • 1
  • Michael Markl
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alex J. Barker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiology, Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Engineering, McCormick School of EngineeringNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA

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